Finally it feels like spring!

As we near the end of April, we are finally feeling the spring weather! It is getting warmer here and the sky stays blue for more than a few hours. There is even warmth when the sun goes behind the clouds.

The Peter Scott Trail is alive with birdsong: the voices of blackcaps, willow warblers and chiffchaffs are joining those of our resident tree sparrows, tits and chaffinches. The tree sparrows are making good use of the nest boxes. A siskin has been spotted there recently as well.


cuckooflower by Marianne Nicholson

In the Paddocks amongst the blossoming cuckooflower, song thrushes, sedge warblers and tree creepers have been busying themselves. Swooping swallows are catching flies over the Folly Pond.

During our nest box monitoring, we found a starling nest in a starling box - they have a tendency to nest in some pretty random places so finding them in our box is exciting!

starling for blog.jpg

starling in a starling box

Down the Avenue, the calls of the rookery soundtrack anyone's walk. At the Teal Pond, the mute swans are nesting, incubating eggs. We can’t wait for their tiny cygnets to emerge.


rookery by Marianne Nicholson

Further along, from the Campbell Hide, a pair of stonechats can be seen flitting amongst the reeds. They like to rest briefly on long stems before disappearing again, camouflaging perfectly into their surroundings.

From the Avenue Tower, a kestrel and little egrets have been seen flying past. Hares lollop across fields, sneaking under gates.

Sun beams down the Saltcot Loaning, almost blinding. Small tortoiseshell butterflies might flutter past. A male reed bunting could land on a branch of the hedge. Keep you eyes peeled.

From Sharp’s Lookout, looking out across the Folly Pond, waders paddle and ducks swim: red shanks, a pair of gadwall, shovelers and shelducks. A few remaining barnacle geese border the pond.

From the Glengoyne Hide, roe deer trot about in the fields or bask in the spring sunshine. What a life!

Roe Deer leaping credit Alex Hillier (30).jpg

roe deer leaping by Alex Hillier

Once down at the Saltcot Merse Observatory, a flock of 200 golden plover can be seen murmuring across the sky. Their summer plumage flashes in the sunlight. A small group of pink-footed geese chatter by a saltmarsh creek. Six little linnets bob past, their distinctive twittering, bouncing flight catching the eye.

There is so much to see this season! Take you time, linger, relax.

Words by Marianne Nicholson

Feature image of blackcap by Alex Hillier

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